In April 2017, Airbus Americas Engineering opened an engineering center on the Wichita State University (WSU) Innovation Campus.

Airbus Americas Inc. CEO Barry Eccleston said, “The campus provides an environment that fosters faster transition of innovative ideas into real-world uses and value for the company.”

The multi-robotics advanced manufacturing (MRAM) lab at Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience Center can 3D print chopped fiber composite, mill, scan, and perform other advanced manufacturing techniques.

As a campus resident, Airbus engages students in real-world engineering projects to develop critical skills and produce graduates with experience, while also boosting Airbus’ competitiveness.

The company also relaunched the Airbus Foundation Flying Challenge in Wichita, which will help local high school students build an RV-12 kit plane to encourage science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education by mentoring with Airbus employees and Tango Flight, a high-school-focused aerospace training and development program.

Next door to Airbus at the Innovation Campus is Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience Center, developed in partnership with WSU’s National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR). The 22,000ft2 facility establishes an interconnected community of researchers, corporations, and laboratories to accelerate aerospace companies’ ability to innovate – from initial requirements through production – using 3DExperience software and other technologies.

Companies can use the center for advanced product development with access to additive manufacturing equipment, interactive customer collaboration rooms, reverse engineering and inspection scanning capability, a virtual reality immersive 3D simulation room, and a multi-robotics advanced manufacturing (MRAM) lab.;;;

Arconic Global Rolled Products appoints new president

Eric Roegner, chief operating officer of Investment Castings, Arconic Titanium and Engineered Products, and president of Arconic Defense, has been named president of Arconic Global Rolled Products (GRP). Roegner continues as president of Arconic Defense.

Roegner’s record includes the successful integration of RTI International Metals (RTI), which is now the Arconic Titanium and Engineered Products business unit. Recently, he oversaw Arconic Power and Propulsion, involved in jet engine components. Roegner, who has more than two decades of experience in aerospace, defense, and other industrial markets, is co-inventor of the Ampliforge process, a hybrid technique that combines additive and advanced manufacturing processes.

Kobe Steel buys Quintus Technologies

In April 2017, Kobe Steel Ltd. acquired Swedish isostatic press manufacturer Quintus Technologies AB from U.S. private equity firm Milestone Partners for $115 million.

An isostatic press (IP) applies equal (isostatic) pressure from all directions to compress and form metal, ceramic, and carbon materials, to manufacture products with uniformity, strength, and durability. A hot isostatic press (HIP) applies high-pressure gas at high temperature. A cold isostatic press (CIP) uses liquid to apply pressure to the material at ambient temperature.

Quintus Technologies has delivered more than 1,800 pressure systems globally for sheet metal forming and advanced materials densification.

By acquiring Quintus, Kobe Steel plans to expand its IP business, benefit from the interchange of product menus and manufacturing efficiency via cost reductions through the joint procurement of parts.;

Sandvik Machining Solutions names president

Longtime Sandvik Coromant executive Klas Forsström has been named president for Sandvik Machining Solutions and added as a member of Sandvik Group’s executive management. Currently the president of Sandvik Coromant, a global supplier of metal-cutting tools, Forsström also has held managerial positions within Sandvik in research & development (R&D), marketing, business development, and sales. Forsström succeeds Jonas Gustavsson.

NCDMM, America Makes appoint executive director

The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) has appointed Rob Gorham executive director of America Makes, replacing Ed Morris who will be retiring.

Gorham joined NCDMM in February 2013 as America Makes’ deputy director for technology development and has served for the past two and half years as the America Makes director of operations.

Gorham led the development of an additive manufacturing road-mapping methodology and refined America Makes’ project call process, resulting in a $97 million research and development portfolio.

Prior to joining NCDMM, Gorham was the senior manager for advanced manufacturing systems and prototyping at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.’s Skunk Works, in Fort Worth, Texas, (officially called Advanced Development Programs – ADP).;

Web Industries opens advanced composite formatting operation

Ply scanning with video verification facilitates delivery of ply-formatted and kitted advanced composite materials.

Marlborough, Massachusetts-based Web Industries Inc. is opening a ply cutting and kitting operation within the company’s 225,000ft2 Composites Center of Excellence in Suwanee, Georgia. The facility offers additional risk mitigation and outsourced capacity, supply chain benefits, and delivery of ply-formatted and kitted advanced composite materials.

The facility includes five cutting tables, laser guidance devices, and quality control systems so every ply in a kit is in the correct order. Video systems positioned above the cutting tables provide traceability for every product.

The Atlanta-area CAD Cut ply-cutting and kitting operation offers redundancy by producing the same product as the company’s Denton, Texas, and Montpelier, Vermont, plants and room for expansion. Production takes place in a controlled contamination area (CCA) to ISO 14644-1 Class 8 standard.

Also at the Atlanta facility, a standalone thermoplastic composite development and qualification center is equipped to format thermoplastic carbon fiber prepreg materials, including polyetheretherketone (PEEK), polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) and polyphenylene sulfide (PPS). The facility can also qualify the equipment that will process the thermoplastic composite formats.

Slitting equipment can cut materials into tapes from 1/16" to 1" on a traverse-wound spooling line or 1" to wider than 6" strips for planetary-wound formats. Other machines can chop materials into 1/2" x 1/2" or 1/16" x 1/2" fiber flakes for use in compression molding.